The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Is touching your penis a sin?

Answer

"And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need" (I Corinthians 12:23-24).

As we mature, we realize the significance of our genitals. Where as a child we dressed for warmth or because our parents told us to, as we reach puberty our inate sense of propriety becomes active and we naturally hide what we are embarrassed to think about.

Touching your penis, especially early in adolescence, is a shock as feelings you didn't know existed suddenly flood your mind. If you were raised as a Christian, or at least with Christian principles, you know that sex outside of marriage is sinful. Yet a seemingly innocent matter takes on new meaning and awakens desires that you are uncertain are proper.

First, understand that desires for sex is normal. It is how God designed your body. It is how those desires are expressed that can be wrong. Satan uses your desires to tempt you into considering having sex outside of marriage. The desire for sex is neither right nor wrong, It is lust for sex outside of marriage which is wrong (James 1:13-16).

Therefore, touching your penis is not a sin. How would you use the toilet or wash if you never touched your genitals? Similarly, having erections or even ejaculations are not wrong, in and of themselves. They are how your body is supposed to work. However, using your penis to have sex with someone who is not your wife, or even strongly considering having sex outside of marriage though you don't actually do it, are sins.